A subset of AppealToNature; if something is naturally predisposed to a certain act or state, it must be accepted. Snakes bite, bears maul, poisons kill, babies scream, sociopaths torture, and [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazis]] [[FinalSolution commit genocide]]; but those are their natures, so we should not hold it against them.

This is usually a fallacy, but there are cases where it isn't. The key is consistency: if someone/something always reacts a particular way to a situation and always will, simply describing this is fundamentally correct. For instance, a computer will always do what you tell it to do [[LiteralGenie (although not necessarily what you ''want'' it to do)]]. Naturally, this is very difficult to do with people without implicitly denying that they are human or getting involved in tautologies: saying AllGaysArePromiscuous is offensive, but saying that [[ShapedLikeItself all Portuguese speakers speak Portuguese]] is [[CaptainObvious stating the obvious]]. It's saying something is good ''because'' it's inherent to them that is the problem.

Used as one of the JerkJustifications. For when a man is appealing to his sexual nature, see ImAManICantHelpIt.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* The God Hand of ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'' use this to convince Griffith to make a DealWithTheDevil. Using illusion and metaphor, they convince him that he's been stepping over the corpses of his followers to get what he wants all along, and that it is in fact in his nature to do so.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In issue #3 of IDW's ''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}: Kingdom of Monsters'' series, the NoCelebritiesWereHarmed version of Music/LadyGaga said that humanity shouldn't hold it against giant monsters for rampaging and destroying cities; it's just what they do, and it would be wrong to kill them for it.
* Cited numerous times in ''ComicBook/TheSandman''. A good number of the series' deities subscribe to this, particularly the AnthropomorphicPersonifications, since it's implied they [[DeconstructedTrope might not have much identity beyond their jobs.]] [[ScrewDestiny Or do they?]]
* ''ComicBook/{{Fables}}'' has multiple examples of this. Mr North (AnthropomorphicPersonification of the North Wind,) is loathed by his son [[TheBigBadWolf Bigby]] for abandoning his mother and causing her [[DeathByDespair to die of a broken heart]], to which Mr North replies that it is in the nature of winds to change direction. A generally very nice goblin named Mr Brump drunkenly eats a sentient squirrel and is put on trial for murder, during which his lawyer produces the scorpion (from "the scorpion and the frog" story under folklore below,) as a defence witness, and argues that it is in the nature of goblins to thoughtlessly devour any meat they can, regardless of who or what the meat comes from. In both these cases [[spoiler: their interlocutors call bullshit; Bigby argues that Mr North may be no different from a normal fickle deadbeat and is just using his "nature" to make himself feel better, but even if Mr North is right, any entity with so little control over himself that he can't take responsibility for his own actions is a dangerous monster that should be put down anyway. Mr Brump's argument gets rejected by the judge in light of the fact that Brump is a fully sentient being who is thus responsible for his own actions, though in private the judge mused that his reason for condemning Brump had as much to do with setting a dangerous precedent that excused murder as Brump's culpability in that particular instance]].
** A more minor example of a character excusing his own dubious behaviour in this way is [[TheCasanova Prince Charming]] and his perennial lack of fidelity, though by the time of the series it's such common knowledge that he can't sustain a relationship that hardly anyone bothers to call him out on it any more.
* ''ComicBook/TheTransformers'': [[BloodKnight Bludgeon]] uses this argument to strand the Autobots on a dying Cybertron, then go find a nice peaceful planet, and slaughter every living thing on it. After all, the Decepticons are conquerors. Why fight what's in their energon?
* ''ComicBook/TheMightyThor'': Used to suggest why Loki is Loki, because he just can't help being bad (and BecauseDestinySaysSo). In recent years, Loki took offense to the idea, since it makes him predictable, and has tried very hard to be good. Several characters have noted their belief that sooner or later, he'll go back to being the villain. For what it's worth being extremely {{rebellious|Spirit}} and [[{{Determinator}} stubborn]] are also part of Loki's inherent nature so the more people question their ability to change ''the harder they try to'' (basically their approach to be good is the very same obsessiveness they used to try to conquer Asgard and/or defeat Thor with time and time again no matter how many times they failed).

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheLorax'', the Once-ler has a VillainSong with the line "How ba-a-a-ad can I be? I'm just doing what comes naturally."

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/NaturalBornKillers'' provides an alternate rendition of the below entry:
-->Once upon a time, a woman was picking up firewood. She came upon a poisonous snake frozen in the snow. [[TheFarmerAndTheViper She took the snake home and nursed it back to health. One day the snake bit her on the cheek.]] As she lay dying, she asked the snake, "Why have you done this to me?" And the snake answered, "Look, [[ThisIsForEmphasisBitch bitch]], [[GenreBlindness you knew]] I was a [[AlwaysChaoticEvil snake]]."
* In ''Film/CarlitosWay'', Carlito is confronted by his girlfriend Gail about leaving the criminal life behind, saying the only way that road ends is with her crying in an emergency room as Carlito dies. Carlito defends his adherence to the "code of the street" even as he goes clean by means of this fallacy, saying something to the effect of, "That's who I am. I can't change." It does not work out well.
* ''Film/TheCryingGame'' includes a character telling "The Scorpion and the Frog" to discuss this topic, and ultimately tries to use it to convince his interlocutor that he's not a bad person.
* In ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanAtWorldsEnd'', Calypso justifies her failure to meet Davey Jones again after ten years with "It's my nature". She then points out that her flighty, tempestuous nature as a sea-goddess is the reason he'd loved her in the first place, so expecting her to behave otherwise for that love's sake is hypocritical.

* In ''Discworld/{{Jingo}}'', "71-hour Ahmed" points out that if this is a valid excuse for people to do bad things, then it's an equally valid excuse for those with a sense of justice to punish them:
--> Oh, no doubt the man would suggest there were mitigating circumstances, that he had an unhappy childhood or was driven by Compulsive Well-Poisoning Disorder. But I have a compulsion to behead cowardly murderers.
* Creator/AmbroseBierce put the same point in another way in regards to free will. Even if a murderer can't help what they did, who's to say the person punishing them can either?
-->"There's no free will," says the philosopher;\\
"To hang is most unjust."\\
"There is no free will," assents the officer;\\
"We hang because we must."
* Akma from "Earthbound" of the Homecoming Series teaches his followers that the way God wants them to act is whatever way they feel compelled. If you are hungry, it is because God wants you to eat. If you want to have sex, it is because God wants you to produce children. Therefore, if you feel repulsed by the company of "diggers" (a species of rodent-people used as an allegory for an oppressed race), then you have every right to exile them from the empire.
* In ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' series (the book ''Literature/WizardAndGlass''), Eddie uses a combination of AppealToAudacity and LogicBomb to disable a malevolent AI with silly and nonsensical riddles. Roland, a very serious and straightforward StraightMan who had previously derided this tactic, is forced to apologize. Eddie waves it away saying that "you can't help your nature."
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'':
** Harry's first meeting with [[TheFairFolk Mab]] ends with her telling him the story of the scorpion and the frog, to illustrate that, even when carrying out her mission will be extremely dangerous and put him through a lot of pain, she is quite certain that he will do it anyway, even when he knows it will likely kill him.
** The spirit of this trope is often in play whenever Harry tries to have a civil conversation with the Fae; their particular nature gives them an inability to tell a direct lie, but serious discomfort from making clear, unambiguous statements and a compulsion to obey their rules and principles of balance, meaning that any conversation with them (even when they're genuinely trying to be helpful,) will be full of ExactWords, riddles and guesswork. Infuriating as he finds it, Harry eventually accepts that he just has to put up with it, and that a Fae who appears to be being obstructive may actually be doing everything to help him that their nature allows.
* {{Discussed}} in the ''Literature/{{Fablehaven}}'' series, where it is pointed out that magical creatures are not (generally) "good" or "evil" so much as "light" or "dark". Goblins are not cruel because they're evil, but because they are goblins and that's how goblins act. Of course, it's also pointed out that just because it is in a creature's nature to act a certain way, doesn't mean that we have a moral obligation to let it act that way. By all means lock up the goblins so they cannot express their cruelty on the innocent.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In a crossover between media and real life, this fallacy often shows up on reality shows, with at least one contestant each season [[JerkJustifications declaring proudly "That's just who I am," when called out for acting like a bigot, an asshat, or a bitch]].
* When Aeryn in ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' says that John Crichton is obsessed with sex, he says, [[AllMenArePerverts "I'm a guy!"]]
* In the ITV series ''Series/{{Primeval}}'', a character who has been raising an orphaned sabretooth since it was a cub insists that the now fully grown cat would never attack her. Which, naturally, it does. This is TruthInTelevision for the caretakers of dangerous wild animals.
* Summarized quite nicely in ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' by the 217th Rule of Acquisition: "You can't free a fish from water."
* Mary in ''Series/DowntonAbbey'', who argues that she's inherently contrary and that it would be against her character to want to marry anyone who anyone else wanted her to marry.
* The general FamilyUnfriendlyAesop of ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle'', that "Life is unfair", is really only possible because of this trope. The sub-Aesop is that there will always be authority figures in your lives that are unfair, and there's nothing you can do about it...''nor should you'', because that's just who they are. This, of course, means that the authority figures on this show can behave like jerks and use this justification as an excuse to avoid having to change their behavior; after all, it is in authority figure's ''nature'' to be unfair, so they are not to be subject to criticism when they behave so. (Also, when Malcolm calls out the various adults on using this excuse, the show wants us to think Malcolm is being an EmoTeen.)

* The old vaudeville tune [[LongTitle "How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Loved You When You Know I've Been A Liar All My Life?"]].

[[folder:Myths & Religion]]
* In the form of ''The Tale of the Scorpion and the Turtle'', it dates back to an ancient Sanskrit collection of folklore that was first translated into English in 1570.
-->A scorpion, being a very poor swimmer, asked a turtle to carry him on his back across a river. "Are you mad?" exclaimed the turtle. "You'll sting me while I'm swimming and I'll drown."\\
"My dear turtle," laughed the scorpion, "if I were to sting you, you would drown and I would go down with you. Now where is the sense in that?"\\
"You're right!" cried the turtle. "Hop on!" The scorpion climbed aboard and halfway across the river gave the turtle a mighty sting. As they both sank to the bottom, the turtle resignedly said, "Do you mind if I ask you something? You said there'd be no sense in your stinging me. Why did you do it?"\\
"It has nothing to do with sense," the drowning scorpion sadly replied. "It's just my nature to sting."
* A similar tale about a jackal and a camel uses this trope twice. The jackal wants to get at some tasty crabs on the other side of the river, but he's not a strong enough swimmer to beat the current. A camel comes along to get at the sugarcane that's ''also'' across the river, and agrees to ferry the jackal across. So the jackal eats his fill, but being much smaller than the camel he finishes before the camel has a chance to get more than a couple of mouthfuls; and, being full and happy, he prances about, yipping at the top of his jackal lungs, alerting the farmers to his presence and that of the camel. As the camel is swimming back across, he demands, "What the hell was that?!" "Sorry," says the jackal, "when I'm full I just feel like dancing around and yapping. It's just how I am." So the camel starts rolling over and over in the river. "What are you doing?!" cries the jackal. "Oh, sorry," says the camel, "But whenever I finish eating something I just feel like rolling over and over and over. It's just how I am."

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* One of the most universally despised yet virtually ubiquitous excuses for bad behavior in role-playing games is "I'm just doing what my character would do" (and its little brother "I'm just acting my [[CharacterAlignment alignment]]"). As if once one has written "ChaoticNeutral" on his character sheet (through no fault of his own, presumably), it would be a sin against role-playing not to do something random, disruptive, and, if possible, [[ChaoticStupid stupid]] every now and then. Because that's what Chaotic Neutral people do! And it's not just players - more than one party has been betrayed and attacked by an [[NonPlayerCharacter NPC]] they were currently in the process of helping simply because the [[GameMaster GM]] noticed its race's alignment was [[AlwaysChaoticEvil evil]], and why would an evil person pass up an opportunity to do something nasty?
** The most infamous example would have to be the Paladin class in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', holy warriors who were required to be LawfulGood. So many players - many of whom were perfectly capable of playing non-paladin Lawful Good characters as reasonable individuals - felt that the ''only'' acceptable characterization for a paladin was the aggressively evangelistic KnightTemplar whose only possible reaction to any situation was to demand [[TheEvilsOfFreeWill everyone share his beliefs]] and kill anyone who didn't immediately fall in line, so that the phrase "LawfulStupid" was coined to describe the class as a whole. The 4th Edition of D&D removed the alignment restriction, but many players familiar with earlier editions still act that way, because "that's just how paladins are."
*** Not helped by the source books openly encouraging players to operate this way in earlier editions: other lawful good characters are just required to respect any oaths or promises they make during play, but Paladins start with a pre-written set of oaths, written by the GameMaster from the perspective of a bellicose and wrathful god, which they must enforce to the utmost of their ability or lose their powers outright and be reduced from one of the more powerful combat classes to a weaker version of a fighter (fighter already being the least powerful class in the game). Essentially, AppealToInherentNature was an intentionally-added class feature.
** The obvious problem with applying the trope under these particular conditions is of course that a tabletop [=RPG=] character is simply a figment of its creator's/controller's ''imagination'' with no independent existence or "inherent nature" in the first place. There are few if any claims of "I can't help it, it's my character's fault!" that cannot be countered with a variation on the question "Well, who wanted to ''play'' him/her that way?".
*** There's also the standard counter of killing the person and stating "It's what my character would do if he's being harassed by an insane person."
** This complaint is complicated by the fact that your character basing his actions on the character's motivations and not the player's is what you're supposed to do in a "role playing" game, it's the definition of the term. And, in-character, you should in fact feel the actions are justified and rational. It only really goes beyond being exactly how it's supposed to work if the player insists that there shouldn't be consequences for acts consistent with his character.
* Thoroughly mocked in ''TabletopGame/LegendOfTheFiveRings''. While this is a setting based on traditional Japanese ideals of cosmology (and thus, Advantages and Disadvantages tend to [[InTheBlood run in family lines]]), the fact that this isn't ''overall'' true causes a lot of unneeded misery in setting, since a lot of samurai believe it. For example, the first emperor of the [[TokenEvilTeammate Scorpion Clan]] told the clan founder the folktale of the scorpion and the frog...except he changed the ending. When the frog asks why the scorpion stung the frog in the middle of a river, drowning them both, [[ConsummateLiar the scorpion]] replied "[[IAmNotLeftHanded Little frog]], [[ForTheEvulz I can swim.]]" And indeed, the Clan as a whole is untrustworthy and dishonorable...as is their purpose, since their explicit title is "Underhand of the Emperor", the people who do the things Bushido prevents. Individual Scorpions are trained ''specifically'' how to spin this logical fallacy to their advantage; since everyone expects a Scorpion to be untrustworthy, [[SarcasticConfession they can lie by telling the truth]].

* In Creator/WilliamShakespeare[='s=] ''Theatre/MuchAdoAboutNothing'', Don John excuses his actions by saying that it's in his nature to be a CardCarryingVillain.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Used in the Extended Cut ending of ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', whereupon Shepard argues against the logic that [[spoiler:the Catalyst]] chose to solve the problem of the RobotWar by building robots that specifically ''start'' Robot Wars. [[spoiler:The Catalyst]] refutes this statement by saying that its creations are only doing what they were programmed to do, and thus are not truly interested in war. Of course, seeing as they are ''his'' creations, [[spoiler:the Catalyst]] is basically saying that the war occurs because organic civilizations refuse to sit back and allow themselves to be annihilated. Shepard can call him out on this.
** But [[spoiler:the Catalyst]] has a justification to being called out on, as well: his logic is that his machines aren't actually ''killing'' organics, they're ''preserving'' organics by grinding them into goo and preserving them in machine form, so their civilizations can live on in the form of knowledge. So, [[spoiler:the Catalyst]] argues, it's ''not'' hypocritical to prevent synthetics from killing organics using these methods because he ''doesn't'' violate his own principle: he ''preserves'' organics, which, to him, isn't quite the same thing.
** It's rather poignant that Shepard can convince [[spoiler:a Reaper]] that they are the same thing. It shuts down when it realizes it is nothing more than a twisted mass grave.
* Often used in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' on role-playing servers by trolls. "I ''am'' role playing. My character is a jerk!"

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* A ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'' [[http://ninja.lhost.de/wiki/index.php/2009-10-21_Normal_3 strip]] illustrates the problem with this type of thinking when Fuchsia kicks dirt on Monique's shoes.
-->'''Fuchsia:''' You deserved it, walking around like you're all that!\\
'''Monique:''' It is my ''nature'' to be all that. It can't be helped.\\
'''Fuchsia:''' Well, it's ''my'' nature to torch things!\\
(''they fight'')

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[http://wanderers-library.wikidot.com/grandfather-scorpion Grandfather Scorpion]] from ''Wiki/TheWanderersLibrary'', which directly references the tale of the scorpion and the turtle.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'' involved around an AnimalWrongsGroup defending Mojo Jojo against the titular girls because they believed it was his natural instinct to do everything he did (including acting human, building complex machinery, and trying to conquer the city). According to the DVD commentary, this whole episode was a TakeThat against people in real life who ''actually did'' think it was cruelty to animals to have Mojo get the crap kicked out of him every few episodes.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Often used by people [[JerkJustifications who want to excuse their own bad behavior]] rather than admit that maybe they crossed a line somewhere. "It's just the way I am." Not a 100% fallacious argument in that it's got some basis in fact when taken on the level of a single person, but fallacious enough that it usually comes off as lame and immature when people use it.
** This has often come up in discussions on bullying. People who see bullying as being "no big deal" (and believe that the victims need to "[[MiseryBuildsCharacter toughen up]]") will often invoke this fallacy, along with AppealToTradition.
** An easy counter: "No, that's who you're ''deciding'' to continue being."
* Often used to imply that the person objecting to the behavior is prejudiced or overly sensitive.
* This is also a trope in certain religious/spiritual teachings, where it is assumed that value is subjective and not inherent to the thing in question.
* In his confession, SerialKiller H. H. Holmes (who killed several dozen women around the time of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair) "justified" his murders this way.
-->"I was born with the devil in me. I could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than the poet can help the inspiration to sing."
* Used by traditionalists and conservatives all the time: all men are this way, all women are that way...
* The biggest flaw with this reasoning in humans is that we possess the ability to choose what we do, up to and including overriding instinct to do so. Some choices are very difficult to make, but people are not ruled by their own urges. Having said that, its not necessarily wrong to follow one's instincts if those instincts are moral, or at least not against morals.
* [[http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/bering-in-mind/scientists-say-free-will-probably-doesnt-exist-but-urge-dont-stop-believing/ This article]] plays with the trope. It starts by showing evidence in favor of determinism (that is, the idea of people not having free will and indeed behaving by their inherent nature). The article also goes on to show studies that prove that people who are exposed to such evidence will also ''start'' behaving like jerks. So the very nature of people is not "immutable", it can end up being changed by external stimuli (something true whether or not determinism is the correct view). The article even presents an argument by some scientists: even if it is true that free will does not exist, people should not be exposed to evidence disproving free will, and thereby change people's natures to be worse.